Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding by Kenn Kaufman
"Yes, it entails some dedicated reading, instead of just trying to match up pictures - but any birder who invests time reading Advanced Birding is going to reap enormous benefits in the field."
- Scott Weidensaul, author of Living On The Wind and Of A Feather
"If birding is more to you than simply pinning a name to a bird, this is the book you'll turn to. The Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding is nothing short of Kenn Kaufman's wisdom and teaching skills crystallized into 448 insight-packed pages. Not only will you love this book, you'll learn from it."
- Pete Dunne, Cape May Bird Observatory
"In his newly updated and totally re-imagined book, Kenn Kaufman encourages birders to look beyond field marks and coloration to actually see what makes a bird a bird. In clear, easy-to-read text, he explains how a myriad of overlooked clues adds up to instant recognition, and how to check fast assumptions against the variability in nature. Don't let the title fool you - Kaufman's Advanced Birding will provide any level of birder with a wider field of view for identifying birds."
- Laura Kammermeier, writer and popular blogger at "Birds, Words, & Websites"
"I think this is one of the most important bird books of our generation. A worthy sequel, to be sure, to Kenn's 1990 classic by the same name. I stand in awe."
- Ted Floyd, Editor, Birding; author, Smithsonian Guide to Birds of North America
Skill in Identifying Birds: What's it all about?
That's what this brand-new guide is all about: Not just a list of field marks (although plenty of field marks are discussed), not just illustrations to compare (although the book is profusely illustrated in color throughout), but a thorough discussion of how to learn to identify birds. Kenn Kaufman's highly popular workshops on bird ID are renowned for clear explanations and for making complex subjects easy to understand. This new volume takes the accumulated lessons of those workshops and makes them available in book form.
In many ways, this book is a descendant of Kenn's first, A Field Guide to Advanced Birding, which was published in the Peterson Field Guide series in 1990. That guide, illustrated with Kenn's line drawings, gave detailed ID information for about 30 of the most challenging species pairs or groups of North American birds. A pioneering effort, the first really "advanced" identification guide published for North America, it provided details not readily available to most birders at the time.
A lot has changed in 21 years. A vast amount of detail on bird ID has been published, both in print and online. No longer is it a challenge to find basic information on identifying birds; instead, the challenge is to sift through the blizzard of data to find those points that are relevant and reliable. Birders are almost threatened with "too much information." So this new Advanced Birding takes a new approach: its focus is on truly understanding the variations that we see and hear in the field. It provides basic principles that will make all bird ID challenges more manageable and more fun.
Not just for "advanced" birders: Don't let the title fool you into thinking that this is just a book for experts. In fact, its clear, careful overview of the basics will make it helpful for birders at any level of experience. Whether you have been birding for six months or six decades, the Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding can improve your skills and make your time in the field more rewarding.